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Sioux Falls Feminists endorse The Assault on Truth for describing
why Freud said children and young women were just making
up reports of sexual abuse. Nevermind that they could
never have imagined the events they were reporting
unless they had actually experienced them.

The Assault on Truth
Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory
By Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

The Assault on Truth (1984) - 308 pages
The Assault on Truth at Amazon.com

In 1981, J. M. Masson was fired from his position as Projects Director of the Sigmund Freud Archive, shortly after suggesting in a talk in New Haven that a key theory Freud had developed in 1895 and later repudiated - the so-called seduction theory - may have been valid after all. This talk scandalized the Freudian orthodoxy, as reported in Time, Newsweek, and The New York Times.

Here for the first time are the letters from Freud, long kept from public view, which stirred this controversy. On the basis of these letters and other new information Masson discovered at the Archives and elsewhere in Europe, he has written a devastating and highly controversial expose of the origins of psychoanalysis. In 1895, Sigmund Freud formulated what was perhaps his most profound theory: that emotional disturbances in adults stem from actual early traumatic experiences, the knowledge of which has been repressed. But Freud eventually renounced this theory in favor of new view, that his women patients had "fantasized" their early memories of rape and seduction - a view on which the whole of the budding science of psychoanalysis would be based. Masson makes available previously unpublished letters from Freud to his closest friend, Wilhelm Fliess, which reveal that Freud had grave doubts about abandoning the "seduction theory." Masson discovered that not only had Freud read the contemporary literature documenting the high incidence of sexual abuse of children, he had in all likelihood witnessed autopsies of children who had been raped and murdered. That he abandoned his seduction theory, Masson argues, was a failure of courage rather than a clinical or theoretical insight.

As a result, most psychiatrists and psychoanalysts have been reluctant to trust the memories of their patients, women in particular, about the traumas they experienced in childhood. Like Freud, they see such traumas as fantasy rather than reality. This cover-up of the truth, Masson asserts, has poisoned the entire profession.

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson is a psychoanalyst and a Sanskrit scholar. He received his B.A. and Ph.D. in Sanskrit from Harvard University, then completed a clinical training in psychoanalysis from 1970 to 1978 at the Toronto Institute of Psychoanalysis and was accepted as a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He has taught at the University of Toronto and the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Masson has edited and translated the complete correspondence of Freud to William Fliess, for future publication by Harvard University Press.

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The Assault on Truth
Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory
By Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

Sioux Falls Feminists endorse The Assault on Truth for describing
why Freud said children and young women were just making
up reports of sexual abuse. Nevermind that they could
never have imagined the events they were reporting
unless they had actually experienced them.